The Boatman’s (Last) Call: A Conversation Afterparty At The Icehouse


With all eyes of the darker side of the MN music scene turned to the Nick Cave one man show at the Pantages – check out our review HERE, but there were other dark and gloomy things going on around the cities last night. And no I’m not talking about the wet, cold weather. The Icehouse played host to an event as brooding and dark as it gets in Minnesota. 

Dark Energy (Dance parties for sad people) teamed up with local artists to host The Boatman’s (Last) Call: A Conversation Afterparty. Nick Cave was invited by DJ Mercury and said to look for a tall skinny guy wearing a suit standing in the back, alas………………

For me the transition from seeing Toto at the State Theatre and a 10 minute sing-along of ‘Africa” was a bit jarring but welcome. After all dark and moody people are my tribe and I’ve had my share of happy songs for the evening. DJ Mercury set the mood before and during sets and some of the songs I heard made their way onto my play list. 

Around 10 the first band took the stage – shadingthesun . This band recently grew to a 3 piece and is quite new with their first album very much a work in progress. My first impression? Shadingthesun condenses everything that I love about the darker side of British New Wave and puts a more modern spin on it. Their stage presence was good, more active than usual for bands of that genre and I am looking very much forward to seeing how they will turn out.

The Cult of Lip in comparison are old hands at this. They have been around in various forms since 2009. “Sleep Receiver” got voted best EP by City Pages.Their sound and vocals put you in a cloud of haze shaped by distorted guitar riffs and a heavy throbbing bass line. 

Wax Lead arrived just in time for their set from the Nick Cave show and there was a bit of a change in crowd with them. Black clothing go darker, the styles a bit harder, more edgy. Seeing Wax Lead live is a bit like seeing the Doors reincarnated as a post-punk, dark wave group. Singer Holly Axelrod’s voice has everything I like about Jim Morrison and the bass line remains prominent through all their songs. Wax Lead creates an immersive experience inviting fans to get lost in their sound and get captured by the dark net they weave on stage..